Oxford City V Chelmsford City FC
The Isuzu FA Trophy Third Round, RAW Charging Stadium, Saturday 9th December 2023, 3:00pm kick-off.
Oxford City stand in-between Chelmsford City and a place in the last 32 of the FA Trophy, as Robbie Simpson’s side look to beat National League opposition in this competition for the second season in a row.
The Clarets defeated Wealdstone at this stage of the FA Trophy last campaign, and are vying to pull off another cup upset this time around.
Here’s all that City supporters need to know ahead of this weekend’s clash…
Following their promotion from the National League South last season, Oxford City are currently experiencing their first ever taste of life in the National League this campaign.
Ross Jenkins’ side finished 3rd in the 22/23 National League South table, level on points with the Clarets as well as Worthing. After defeating the latter 2-0 in the play-off semi-final, Oxford went on to beat St Albans 4-0 in the final to secure their place in the fifth tier of English football.
The Hoops’ season so far in the National League has been mixed; and Jenkins’ men currently sit 22nd in the table. Only six points adrift of the mid-table position of 12th place in the league though, survival from their first season in the National League looks a reachable possibility for Oxford at present. Jenkins’ side have conceded 46 league goals this season, the most in the National League. However, the Hoops have been in better form at the other end of the pitch and are the division’s 11th highest goalscorers.
One reason for this has been the goals of forward Josh Parker. Parker was a key man for the Hoops during their promotion campaign and has continued to step up during their maiden season in the National League. Parker arrived at the RAW Charging Stadium in summer 2022 and scored 17 goals in the National League South last season. The 33-year-old has continued his strong goal scoring form during this campaign; Parker currently sits 6th in the National League’s goalscoring charts, having found the back of the net 9 times so far.
Another important player who Oxford retained ahead of their first foray in the National League was Zac McEachran. McEachran scored eleven times last season, with one of his goals coming against Chelmsford during his side’s 3-1 win against the Clarets in April. McEachran’s performances and goals earned him a place in the official 2022/23 National League South Team of the Season.
Last month, Oxford completed the addition of Grenada full back Alexander McQueen as Jenkins looked to tighten up his side’s defence. McQueen arrived at the RAW Charging Stadium after most recently playing in America, for Indy Eleven in the United Soccer League Championship. The 28-year-old scored on his Hoops debut against Ebbsfleet last month.
FA Trophy rules:
The Clarets and the 23 other National League South clubs entered the competition in the previous round, alongside the 24 National League North teams. Oxford and their fellow National League sides are playing in the FA Trophy for the first time this season, having entered the hat ahead of this round.
If the score remains level after 90 minutes, then FA Trophy ties go straight to penalties with no extra-time being played.
Robbie Simpson is allowed to name a maximum of seven players on the bench in the FA Trophy, of which he may bring on three during the game.
Captain Dave Winfield will return from the suspension he received for his red card against Truro, which he served last weekend.
Jazzi Barnum-Bobb will be forced to sit this one out though, following his straight red card during last week’s 3-2 win over Bath. However, after an appeal, we can confirm that this decision has been reverted, meaning Jazzi will no longer be suspended. Saturday’s game is set to be the fullback’s 100th in the Claret shirt!
Anthony Wordsworth’s red card, which he picked up last week in the Essex Senior Cup, will only apply to Essex County FA competitions, meaning the midfielder will be available this weekend.
The trip from the Melbourne Community Stadium to the RAW Charging Stadium takes around 2 hours by car.
At the time of writing, there are still spaces left on the Chelmsford City Supporters Club coach. The coach departs Melbourne Park at 11:15am on Saturday, and supporters can contact @CCFC_Coach on X if they wish to travel on the coach.
Both clubs have agreed the following ticket prices for Saturday’s game:
· Adults: £10
· Concessions: £6
· Under 16s: Free
How to follow the game:
Radio Clarets will be providing live audio commentary of proceedings at the RAW Charging Stadium.
Clarets fans can find pre-match coverage of Saturday’s game, and live updates of proceedings in Oxfordshire by following the club’s X (formerly Twitter) page: @OfficialClarets and Instagram page: chelmsfordcityfc.
Post-match reactions will be found on the club’s website, official social media channels and on ClaretsTV.
Words by Jake Dixon.